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Grateful Dead Live at Winterland Arena on 1971-03-24


Topics Live concert


Bertha, Sugar Magnolia, I'm A King Bee, Beat It On Down The Line, Casey Jones, Hard To Handle, Greatest Story Ever Told-> Johnny B. Goode, Next Time You See Me-> Loser, Truckin'-> Drums-> The Other One, Playin' In The Band, Not Fade Away-> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad-> Not Fade Away Uncle John's Band,


Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Winterland Arena
Location San Francisco, CA

Source Soundboard Partial
Lineage SBD > MR > DAT > CD > EAC > SHN
Transferred by Matt Vernon, Raoul Duke, and JCotsman

Notes

-- This is all that circulates from the SBD.

-- Sound Forge was used for normalization, and to remove or stifle a number of static pops.

-- The start of Truckin' is distorted for a few seconds.

Reviews

Reviewer: clementinescaboose - - February 28, 2015
Subject: Hard to Handle
I agree this is an astonishing version.

Bob's solo is great, and Jerry and Phil intertwine masterfully, bringing the jam to two enormous peaks, filled with huge, funky, staccato bass lines from Phil.

The only negative I could say about it (and this is nitpicking) is that after the final peak, the jam is a bit overextended, like they aren't quite sure how to end things. Though the playing in this section is inspired, it does seem to cause some confusion, as the band sort of stumbles back into the verses.

Only a minor complaint, as this is still one of the most compelling and unique Hard to Handles ever played, besides the fabled versions from the Fillmore East in April.
Reviewer: gvtmule - - March 25, 2010
Subject: Hard To Handle
This is definitely a sweet and unique version of HTH. That is definitely Bob on the first solo. Thought I'd throw out my personal favorite version since I haven't seen it listed - 4/28/71. Unfortuately it isn't on the Archive and didn't make the cut for "Ladies And Gentlemen" (which has the 4/29 version). Looking at the reviews under 4/28 I see I'm not alone.

The diversity of Head's opinions is one of the things that makes being a fan of this band so much fun. And I CAN be swayed...

Three stars mostly because this source is incomplete and out of order. Good show tho.
Reviewer: BezerkleyJerk - - February 7, 2010
Subject: It rocked!!
I went to 34 dead concerts, many at Winterland when I was in highschool, 1970-71 period. They were all way fun, but this one stands out. The Sufi choir and dancers were kind of cool; they came out first, it was dark with drums and some kind of fire on stage. They had some middle eastern music, and as it was kind of winding down, there was that familiar guitar sneaking in from behind - Jerry kind of hiding in the back. The audience perked up... Seems like the New Riders came out next,but I could be mistaken. Anyway, this was really the best era for the Dead in my opinion; the band was tight, they had a lot of new material, the venues were not that large, but most of all they had Pigpen and at this time he was in good shape and in fine form. I was in seats in the very back of the ground floor when Hard to Handle came on. It was not on any records at that time but we had heard it at a couple of previous concerts and were hoping they would play it. Well, they played it alright. To this day it was my most memorable GD experience. It was just such an awesome jam, and loud! I kept thinking it would eventually show up on a Dick's Picks CD, but not so far. I've thought of trying to contact someone with access to the vaults that could dig this up. So glad to find it here. What a great thing for it now to be accessible to the world. Glad to hear you other GD fans and reviewer's like it so much. Definately a gem. I picked up the Deadheads Taping Compendium the other day and looked this concert up and this is what Brian Dyke says, "The play is average, the emotional factors absent, and the summation is a very rehearsed and unimprovised performance." Huh?!
Reviewer: rollandfin - - August 2, 2009
Subject: best hard to handle?
I don't agree that this is the best hard to handle. It is pretty good and I do recognize that the tune only got better with age, while much attention is focused on early 1970 and bear's choice from the fillmore east, 1971 was where the dead mastered the tune, and it probably influenced bobby in the writing of one more saturday night and I need a Miracle IMO.

I feel the apex of the song was when they added the end jam, B-A-D-F sharp, I feel it allows for closure of the jam, not just "well lets finish it off", but instead offers a point to aim for. You can hear this in April thru August. People maintain that 8-6-71 is the best, so it's refreshing to hear another opinion. I suspect 8-26-71 (the very last version) is the best, as it just has it all. Keith would have sounded great on this tune, as he did on good lovin and the rare love lights, too bad it didn't come up in europe.

on the 1982 new years show which you can see part on youtube, with etta james, she plays with the group the song, and pays tribute to otis redding, and does a very generic version. I cant help wonder if she new they ever played it a decade ago with Pig, and that they absolutely licked it?
Reviewer: tree-ap - - November 13, 2007
Subject: FAB '71!
Winterland always seemed to bring out the best in the GD, and this performance is no exception. Previous reviews seem to give their kudos the HTH, and after hearing you'll know why. GSET starts out with a little echo that makes it seem as if you're right their in hall listening to the show it happened---GREAT SHIT MAN!!! NTYSM has Pigpen (without his organ...HA!!!) playing harp, and the "tone" of the show is still being maintained---WHOA! Jerry's opening to Loser has always been a fav of mine & he/they don't let up from their stride a bit. And then...yet another fine example of Truckin'---what more is there to say other than that? After the 2nd verse it transitions nicely into drums & then EXPLODES into TOO. Unfortunately, it cuts after they finish the last verse, so the momentum stops..."dead".

It's a shame the soundboard of the entire show isn't available, because this one sounds pretty damn spectacular.
Reviewer: Burnt Rich - - April 13, 2007
Subject: Floats Like A Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee!!
These boys are firing the BIG GUNS, on this one, kids! Like the previous reviewers, Hard to Handle has all the lil' sweetspots your ears look for over the course of years of strolling the back alleys of all those tapes and shows. One of the best and brightest out there. Very robust mix from these here speakers. Everyone is there. Nice back-to-Billy break in the big picture, too.
Reviewer: sky dog - - June 9, 2006
Subject: "Your ass is on the line"
Pigpen was the master of blues rapping...Hard to Handle truly was perfected on this night at Winterland.

Also, the Johnny B. Goode from Skulls and Roses
Reviewer: gruUbic - - March 18, 2006
Subject: JG's Handle
3/24/71...35 years ago -

Agree with previous grade A rating. Jerr's HandleJam is off the axe! Hiss is way tolerable but definitely there. Whatever, its a sweet '71 SB. Da boyz were ON! Phil is all about powerdropping bombs on the war - Boom boom, Philbert - well done! High energy from everyone...hmmm where did they get it from?!?

cheers to y'all archive! Sound Forge worked...whatever that is. 5's all around!
Reviewer: 1970Junkie - - January 3, 2006
Subject: Second favorite Hard To Handle
Jerry's solo on Hard To Handle is absolutely sick in this show. However, I think the interplay between Bobby and Jerry on The Phil Zone puts it a notch higher. That said, this show is one of my favorites. A+++++
Reviewer: bootleg43 - - September 10, 2005
Subject: Phil Missed This One
O.K. kids, let's get this straight. This really is the best Hard To Handle EVER! The version on The Phil Zone, as well as ALL others, pales by comparison. The combination of Phil climbing the fretboard and Jerry's bending of strings to climax Jerry's solo simply cannot be clearly spoken about. It just has to be listened to. The music here does all the talking. The intensity of Phils chording and Jerry's 1971 guitar tone is... er... intense. Bobby lays down a nice solo to begin the break from Pig's vocals. One of his best. Pig's vocals are RIGHT ON and a pleasure to listen to. One literally breathes a sigh of relief once they go back into the vocals. That's how intense Jerry and Phil made the solo in this version... everything exactly perfect. Much like any extreme pleasure, one can only handle so much until exhaustion sets in. The Truckin>Drums>Other One is also a pleasure. The other songs are all standout versions. If you're a Dead Head you Simply gotta own this CD. There is a little bit of everything here that makes us love The Dead so much. Need I say more?
Reviewer: skb archives - - August 4, 2005
Subject: Complete Show....
I put the complete show into circulation one year ago and for some reason, it's still not up here....cm
Reviewer: pinkfl0yd73 - - August 4, 2005
Subject: Hard to Handle
Previous favorite Hard to Handle was 8/6/71 but this one just blew my mind out my body...
Reviewer: humandonkey - - May 31, 2005
Subject: destroyer dead...
for all of the bad mouthin' that this era gets from heads, after hearing shows like this, I just can't see it. this show is 100% proof-positive of the sheer power that this band could lay down at the drop of a hat. as much as I dug mickey, his absence here is a plus... they just sound so lean and tough and much less cumbersome when billy is in charge of the drummers chair. anyhow, this show is just a gem... even early versions of GSET and Bertha rip, and Jerry's gtr really cuts hard thru the mix... the sound on this show is pretty stellar, but the shining star is mr. lesh... his alembic bass is just so thick-dicked & round sounding... totally boss. all of the other reviewers of this show are correct in their assessment of H2H... it is sooooo poundingly heavy and groove-laden that it gave me goose-bumps the first time I heard it. the climax of the jam with phil and jerry going head to head could be one of my fave dead moments of all time. let the dead drill yr fucking skull. it'll leave you speechless.
Reviewer: sinceamelia3 - - March 18, 2005
Subject: Perfect Recording
I have been downloading from the archive for some time. This recording and show defines what the dead mean to me. The recording quality doesnt match some of the shows from 77 and the long jams are not in this recording. I still feel this recording shows what the dead are made of. I recomend this show for download for everybody. This show is good for the first time listener and the completist. Thank you to the archive staff and the uploader. Sorry to add some no dead related info but i just watched I LOVE THE HUCKLEBEERIS and it is a great movie.
Reviewer: capn doubledose - - March 1, 2005
Subject: nice little show
Funny jabber with the audience as well.
Reviewer: oceantree - - February 18, 2005
Subject: STUNNING sound
throbbing, visceral bass... and everything else is gloriously clear as well... almost embarrassingly imtimate sound quality (a good thing)...the HTH is indeed among the best ever; it's my favorite...don't even hesitate; is there a better one CD show out there from this era?... a thick, wonderful Greatest Story, with a seamless transition to JBG...stop reading, start downloading! I would give this disc 6 stars if i could...
Reviewer: Polka - - February 2, 2005
Subject: Begin Download Now
The best bar band to walk this earth (ok, besides GT and the Delaware Destroyers) simply punches the lights out of the Winterwonderland!

Never been able to pin down a greatest HTH, but this one is in the mix. Superfried boogie!

Sound A-
Show A-
Reviewer: dirty jev-o - - October 18, 2004
Subject: hard to judge
the version on 4 29 71 is the one used on one of the videos the dead released ....the best as far as i can hear....sculpted...refined....this one is good too....they all are, but the licks in the 4 29 version sound like they were perfected in a studio using "overdubbing" that good......bass......everything was on ------especially PIG!!!! this show kicks ass though
Reviewer: southernflavour - - October 4, 2004
Subject: smokin
awesome Hard to Handle. Everybody's on! Go Bobby! Is there more to this show?
Reviewer: Filiberto Penwarden - - September 26, 2004
Subject: BEST HARD TO HANDLE EVER
I will limit my comments to the Hard to Handle. I haven't given the rest of the show good enough a listen... though all the songs available seem very hot (I canÂt tell if this is a complete show or not Greatest Story appears cut-off). What is clear, is that I have never heard a better Hard to Handle (IÂd love to get the date of a better version if you think IÂm wrong). This version is virtually perfectÂmuch like the Barton Hall 5/8/77 Scarlet-Fire or Morning Dew. Qarkus is absolutely rightÂwhy has no one else commented on this until now? IÂve heard this material years ago, I believe, on David Gans show. I lost/misplaced the tape I made of it, and it is quite a pleasure to hear it again and confirm my belief concerning the show. I was searching for this particular Hard to Handle on the Archive for some time and luckily read Qarkus review today... Everything about it is great. Pigpen is right on target with the band backing him up and his rapping perfectly. Also, it appears that the entire band is on. Garcia, Lesh and Weir are all inspired. Weir!! It appears to me-- and it could be that my ear is not trained well enough-- that the first two (great) solos are performed by Bob Weir and that Garcia plays the rest. WeirÂs solos are wonderful in that they are interesting, flow perfectly with the song, and appear to inspire Jerry. The mix is great with Weir's rhythm guitar perfectly balanced with the rest of the band. Phil and JerryÂ(!) I canÂt say enough about it.
Reviewer: Qarkus - - September 25, 2004
Subject: Hard to Handle
SMOKIN'!SMOKIN'! SMOKIN'! Again how can this be 1971??? Best Hard to Handle EVER????????
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